Sometimes I really sit back and wonder about the messages we are sending to children about their actions and the consequences that are delivered because of those negative actions, particularly when it comes to the public school system. An incident happened between my oldest and another child at school yesterday and when I sat back and looked at how everything worked out, it wasn’t really sending the best message. Here is what went down.
My oldest takes medication for ADHD. He goes to the school nurse to get a dose at noon. Sometimes he is already a little antsy by the time he gets his noon dose. Yesterday he was feeling pretty hyper when going back to class, so he did something he shouldn’t have. He walked in and started acting like a fool. Apparently, one of the kids in the class decided to act like a cop (literally) and tell him to stop acting out. My son got angry and called the boy a not so nice name. The boy then got up and was coming towards my son and they exchanged more words. The other boy kicked my son and then Joshua called him an even worse name.
Now, I want to mention that I am definitely not one of those moms who sees no fault in her own children. Joshua’s actions were inexcusable and the names were horrid and things that are never said in this home. Josh is punished anytime he says any bad word here at home and I do not condone this behavior.
Joshua was sent to the office where he was given in school suspension and had to write an apology letter and read it in front of the class. However, the boy who kicked and physically hurt him was only made to write a “stop paragraph” or a set of school rules and did not receive a referral or in school suspension like Joshua.
While I have absolutely no problem with the consequences that Joshua received, I think it sends a bad message that you can kick someone and barely be punished at all. Essentially the message the school sent is that calling names is far far worse that physically harming someone.
So, maybe the next time Joshua gets mad, he will use his fists instead of his words. Not a message I want to be sending to my child. We have talked about this and he understands that neither action is acceptable and he has received additional consequences at home, but that doesn’t erase the message the school is sending to the students there.
Has something like this happened at your school?